Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News Health

Obese people weigh up distances differently

By John Von Radowitz

Published 15/02/2016

Tests showed a 23-stone person sees objects as twice as far away as someone weighing nine stone. Image posed
Tests showed a 23-stone person sees objects as twice as far away as someone weighing nine stone. Image posed

Obese people may have found a good excuse for not going the extra mile, thanks to scientists.

It seems that the heavier you are, the greater your brain perceives distances to be.

Tests showed that a person weighing 23 stone sees objects as being twice as far away as someone tipping the scales at a trim nine stone.

The effect also applies to hill gradients. For a heavier individual, a hill will appear steeper than it does to a slim neighbour - another reason for taking the lift instead of the stairs.

Scientists believe the strange phenomenon is a survival mechanism. It helps us evaluate testing situations in a flash, without having to think about them.

Psychologist Dr Jessica Witt said: "Effort and performance influences perception.

"People who weigh more than others see distances as farther and hills as steeper. It is conscious perception of the world... and yes, it cannot be controlled, it is out of your hands."

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph